With the Christmas season coming to and end, the Grand Ole Opry is back to just one show on Friday night and one show on Saturday. The Tuesday Night Opry finished up for the year this past week and will resume in March. As for the Opry this weekend, let's just be kind and say that it isn't quite up to last week's schedule.
The Friday Night Opry will feature Opry members Jeannie Seely, Jesse McReynolds, Thw Whites, Bill Anderson and Riders In The Sky. Also scheduled are two of the Opry's more frequent guests, Chris Janson and The Willis Clan. It is really nice to see The Earls of Leicester scheduled. This group is headed up by Jerry Douglas and is a tribute to Flatt & Scruggs. The CD has been very well received. Among other guests on Friday, Karyn Williams is a Christian artist making her Grand Ole Opry debut in support of her debut CD, while Doug Seegers is also scheduled with this description, "modern country music is like aged whiskey, but Seegers if pure moonshine, raw and clear, giving a good burn all the way down."
Last week's shows featured no artists from "Nashville", this week they more than make up for it. Clare Bowen is scheduled for both Friday and Saturday night, while once again, Saturday's final segment is given over to actors from the show with Clare being joined by Jonathan Jackson and Charles Esten.
As far as Opry members on Saturday, Bill Anderson and Jeannie Seely return for a 2nd night, while Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White are scheduled. They will also be signing their new CD at the Ryman after the show. And, after missing last week, Mike Snider is back.
Friday December 19
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Chris Janson; Jesse McReynolds
7:30: The Whites (host); Karyn Williams; The Earls of Leicester
8:15: Bill Anderson (host); Exile; Clare Bowen
8:45: Riders In The Sky (host); Doug Seegers; The Willis Clan
Saturday December 20
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Striking Matches; (Jimmy Dickens?)
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Eric Paslay
8:15: Jeannie Seely (host); Ricky Skaggs & Sharon White; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Jonathan Jackson; Clare Bowen; Charles Esten
I would assume that Jimmy Dickens will be there on Saturday night, while I am hoping that another act will be scheduled for the 2nd segment. If not, I guess that will leave us with a Tuesday night type show.
There is no live Midnight Jamboree this weekend. Instead a taped show from last year will be run, a Christmas special hosted by George Hamilton IV.
And now, here is the Grand Ole Opry posted line-up from 5 years ago this weekend, December 18 & 19, 2009:
Friday December 18
7:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Jimmy C Newman; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: Jean Shepard (host); Mandy Barnett; Ralph Stanley
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Jim Lauderdale
8:30: Emmylou Harris (host); The Whites; Gillian Welch & David Rawlings
Saturday December 19
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Connie Smith; Emily West
7:30: Bill Anderson (host); Jan Howard; Ralph Stanley
8:00: Emmylou Harris (host); The Whites; Gillian Welch & David Rawlings; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Ronnie Milsap (host); George Hamilton IV; Jean Shepard; Amber Digby
Now from 10 years ago this weekend, December 17 & 18, 2004:
Friday December 17
7:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Ralph Stanley; Lorrie Morgan
8:00: Jeannie Seely (host); Charlie Walker; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Josh Gracin
8:30: George Hamilton IV (host); Jan Howard; Jimmy C Newman; Del McCoury Band
9:00: Bill Anderson (host); Connie Smith; Josh Turner
9:30: Diamond Rio (host); Jean Shepard; Osborne Brothers
Saturday December 18
6:30: Jeannie Seely (host); Connie Smith; Jim Lauderdale; Blaine Larsen
7:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Joe Nichols; Jimmy Wayne; Trick Pony; Ralph Stanley
8:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jean Shepard; Billy Walker; Del McCoury Band; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Bill Anderson (host); Riders In The Sky; Brad Paisley
9:30: Jim Ed Brown (host); w/Helen Cornelius; Connie Smith; Blaine Larsen
10:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Billy Walker; Osborne Brothers; Jimmy Wayne
10:30: Jean Shepard (host); George Hamilton IV; Ralph Stanley; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Bill Anderson (host); Del McCoury Band; Joe Nichols
11:30: Riders In The Sky (host); Charlie Louvin; Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Trick Pony
For this week's feature line-up, I go to Saturday December 20, 1986. It was this date 28 years ago that Randy Travis became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
Randy came to Nashville from North Carolina. When he first came to town, he was employed as a cook at The Nashville Palace, located across the street from the Opryland Hotel. At the time, he was known as Randy Traywick, then as Randy Ray. Finally as Randy Travis, he was signed by Warner Bros. Records in 1985. In 1986, his debut album was released, "Storms of Life" and sold over 4 million copies. The hits and awards followed. He was won 6 CMA awards, 10 American Music Awards, 9 ACM's and 6 Grammys. Many feel it will just be a matter of time before he is elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Sadly, the past several years have not been kind to Randy as he has gone through a divorce, a management shake up, and several arrests. He is currently living in Texas and continues to work at recovery from a series of health issues.
Let's remember the good times from Randy Travis and the night he was inducted into the cast of the Grand Ole Opry, Saturday December 20, 1986:
Del Reeves (host): Two Dollars in the JukeBox/A Dime at A Time/Looking at the World Through A Windshield
Skeeter Davis: The Rose
Del Reeves: Anywhere U.S.A.
Porter Wagoner (host): Sugarfoot Rag
Riders In The Sky: Christmas at the Triple X Ranch
Porter Wagoner: Your Old Love Letters
Ricky Skaggs (host): Love's Gonna Get You Someday
Lorrie Morgan: One Love At A Time
Jim & Jesse: When I Dream About the Southland
Randy Travis: Diggin' Up Bones/White Christmas Makes Me Blue
Ricky Skaggs: Walking in Jerusalem Just Like John
7:30: Standard Candy
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jean Shepard: Kentucky
Roy Drusky: Silent Night
Crook Brothers/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Chicken Reel
Carolee Singers: A Song the Holy Angels Cannot Sing
Dan Kelly: Sally Goodin'
8:00: Martha White
Bill Monroe (host): Can't You Hear Me Calling
The Whites: It Should've Been Easy
Stonewall Jackson: Why I'm Walkin'
Archie Campbell: Make Friends
Connie Smith: How Great Thou Art
Bill Monroe: Christmas Time's A 'Comin'
8:30: Music Valley Merchants
Hank Snow (host): I'm Moving On
Boxcar Willie: Fireball Mail/Train of Love/Hand Me Down My Walking Cane/Wreck of the Old 97/Orange Blossom Special/Wabash Cannonball/Night Train to Memphis
Osborne Brothers: Makin' Plans
Mel McDaniel: Tennessee Saturday Night/Stand On It
Hank Snow: Christmas Roses
9:30: Dollar General Stores
Porter Wagoner (host): Ol' Slewfoot
4 Guys: God Bless the USA
Del Reeves: The Race is On
Jan Howard: Why Lady Why
Billy Walker: Coffee Brown Eyes
Porter Wagoner: I Thought I Heard You Calling My Name
10:00: Little Debbie
Ricky Skaggs (host): Cajun Moon
The Whites: If It Ain't Love
Randy Travis: On the Other Hand
Ricky Skaggs: Country Boy
Roy Acuff (host): Meeting in the Air
George Hamilton IV: C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S
Roy Acuff: That's the Man I'm Looking For
10:30: Pet Milk
Bill Monroe (host): Old Ebanezer Scrooge
Charlie Louvin: Sunshine on My Shoulders
Bill Monroe: You're Drifting Away/Christmas Time's A' Comin'
Archie Campbell (host): Make Friends
Bill Carlisle: No Help Wanted
Crook Brothers/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Sally Goodin'
Hank Snow (host): Tangled Mind
Jean Shepard: The Old Rugged Cross
Justin Tubb: Lonesome 7-7203
Charlie Walker: Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
Mel McDaniel: Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On/Stand On It
Hank Snow: Silent Night
Boxcar Willie (host): Fireball Mail/Train of Love/Hand Me Down My Walking Cane/Wreck of the Old 97/Orange Blossom Special/Wabash Cannonball/Night Train to Memphis
Osborne Brothers: Me and My Old Banjo
Connie Smith: The Deepening Snow/Sing, Sing, Sing
Boxcar Willie: Cold, Cold Heart/Take These Chains From My Heart/Half As Much/I Can't Help It/Your Cheatin' Heart/They'll Never Take Her Love From Me/Wedding Bells/Lovesick Blues/Move It On Over
Congratulations to Randy Travis and enjoy the Opry this weekend!!!